Sustainability 101: Waste Not, Want Not...Food That Is
Updated: Dec 22, 2022
Reducing Food Waste in America
In our new series, we will be talking about how to prevent food waste in a wholistic way. Did you know that approximately 108 billion pounds of food is wasted every year in America? That's a lot of food AND a lot of money!
So, here are two ways you can help the hungry and the earth, from your very own home!
Local food banks offer a great and easy way to donate excess food to help feed the hungry. Ask your local church what food drives they participate in, and you can also visit https://www.feedingflorida.org/florida-food-banks/directory for more details. These donations help local food banks feed the hungry.
Did you know you can make your own food just from old scraps?! There are several plants you can regrow from your own scraps to keep a fresh food supply:
Potatoes with eyes can be cut into two-inch pieces, leaving 2 to 3 eyes on each piece. Dry out the pieces overnight and plant them four inches deep in moist soil. Use burlap sacks to grow them (these are free and generally available at locally owned coffee shops).
Celery/Bok Choy can be cut off at the base of the stem and laid in a bowl with a bit of water in the bottom, then set in sunlight. Make sure to keep the water fresh during the process. After about a week, new leaves will start to grow, and then they can be transplanted into soil to allow full growth.
Lettuce & Cabbage can both be salvaged and replanted. Just put extra leaves in a shallow bowl of water in the sunlight and mist the leaves with water a couple times a week. Once roots appear, transplant into soil.
Pineapple Tops can be cutoff and placed on top of any moist soil for an awesome, low maintenance house plant and will eventually turn into beautiful pineapple!
Basil/Cilantro stems can be laid in a jar full of water located in the sunlight, (strip bottom leaves but leave the top leaves). Replace water daily until root hairs start to form, then transfer into soil.
For more information on how to re-grow your own food, visit https://foodrevolution.org/blog/reduce-food-waste-regrow-from-scraps/
Fun Fact of the Day!
Our typical US grocery stores throw away pounds of bruised and discolored produce every day. However, color is not often an indicator of the safety, nutritional value or even taste of your fruits and vegetables! We should never throw away fresh (or not so fresh) produce. You can take your overripe, bruised or spoiled fruits and turn them into jams, preserves, juice blends or even pies! Then whatever is left over, can go into a compost or vermicompost (decomposer-initiated compost) pile for other plants in your garden/yard.
Do you often throw away your fruits and veggies when they start bruising?
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Written by: Kristen Hoss, Melanie Cantua & Rachel Taylor
Edited by: Rachel Taylor
Photography by: Morgan Knowles